27 February 2008

I Should Go to the Gym, but I Just Can't

Do you ever think that you'd like to do something but for whatever reason, just can't get going?

‘I’d like to eat better but my schedule is just too busy’. ‘I’d like to be fitter but I don’t have time’.

The trouble with listing all the things that you’d like to do, but just can’t do, is that it can lead to a lot of frustration and in some cases a feeling of powerlessness. I prefer people to feel empowered and in charge of their own destiny so I have a couple of rules with my clients.

No one is allowed to mention something they’d like to do without telling me what action they are going to take to make it happen. No one is allowed to complain about anything unless they’re taking active steps to rectify the situation.

Sounds tough I know but it isn't really. Its simply getting them to change their approach without making a huge deal about it.

So, if someone says they want to eat better, they have to tell me the very next occasion when they’ll be having a healthy meal or snack. If anyone complains they didn’t have time for exercise over the last week, they need to explain how they’ll prevent the same thing from happening in the coming weeks.

Staying solutions-focused means never having to say, 'Can’t’ and 'Should'. Get into the habit of always knowing that ‘you can’ achieve whatever you’d like to.

Think of an occasion now when you’ve recently thought, ‘I just can’t.’ Revisit this and highlight the one small step that you could take to move yourself closer to empowering yourself to tackle that situation. Perhaps that small step is to ban the words Can't and Should from your vocabulary - because what you're really saying is 'I have no intention of ..'

Photograph Thomas Hawk (Flickr)

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